Why is my Windows 7 copy suddenly not recognized as geniune?
Question by Linda Rousay /

I bought a Windows 7 upgrade for my laptop. It has worked fine for months. I had to have the hard drive replaced and now Windows will not recognize my Windows 7 disk as genuine. How do I fix this?

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Answers (5)
  • Mammananny

    Thank you everyone. I  am going to start over and do the things recommended here. I did call Microsoft and after about an hour and a half of being put on hold they told me I had to buy a new disk. I told them I have the original disk, key and receipt. He said that a new hard drive was like a new computer and that the disk can only be used once. My area of expertise is obviously not computer technology, but I’m not a blithering idiot. I do appreciate all of your help. I have always loved the Make Use of Guides but never used the forum before.
    I don’t often make recommendations to my friends with all the spam there is, but this is a great exception.


    Hello, it seems to be a common problem when you use the upgrade option.

  • Everett

    Both MJ & Mike have shared excellent and valuable information.  I cannot think of a single thing to add, other than to compliment MakeUseOf’s Facebook page for the assistance it has given those that “Like” their page.  

    Thank you all.

  • Mike

    If Windows was re-installed on the new drive it probably wasn’t activated via internet or telephone yet.

    If Windows was cloned it could be that the change in the Hard Drive serial number triggered WGA.

    Activation can be started via the Control Panel > System and Security > System
    You should find the activation link at the bottom of this page.

    However, in rare cases Windows could be reported as not genuine for various other reason. In such a case I recommend to open the WGA Diagnostics page within Internet Explorer. It will install an ActiveX component which will try to solve your problem.

    If the problem still persists I suggest to visit the official
    Windows 7 Genuine Advantage Validation Issues
    forum. Before you post click on
    Diagnostic Report Required to Troubleshoot Issue
    and follow the instructions.

  • Mjevolve

    hello Linda , 
    >what type of upgrade was it that you bought .?
    upgrade from Vista to 7 ?
    online upgrade , where you paid and were issued a Product Key ?
    a physical genuine copy of the Win7 disc ?

    >and after you got your HD changed , 
    how was the OS installed onto it ?

    >was an Image of the old drive restored onto the new drive ? ( that is retaining the existing and running OS )
    did you go for a clean new install of Win7 ?

    i>n either way , 
    you need a genuine Windows 7 key to activate your copy .

    >if you installed it from a genuine Win7 CD , 
    then just activate your copy .

    Start > right click on computer > and click on properties .

    see what does it say at the bottom left of screen.
    ( an activated genuine copy would tell you the product key with the message its activated .)

    >if you cant see it , 
    the type ” 
    activate windows ” , without the quotations in the search box of start menu and click enter .

    the activation would start .

    you would require your Win7 key now .

    if you have it , enter it .

    if you dont , 
    then just run this small tool and it would tell you the key . http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

    copy it and enter it and let it proceed .

    >after all has been done , 
    run this tool —  https://www.microsoft.com/genuine/validate/

    this tool will verify whether your copy of Windows is genuine or not ..

    try and see .

    and tell if more help needed ..

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